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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

price list!


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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  #1  
Old 01-17-2011, 09:21 PM
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Default price list!

what is a good way to come up with a price list? Cause i am constantly asked what would it cost to get there yard cut. If I had a basic list it would make it more easier to answer there question! I am it the missiouri area!
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2011, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynasty View Post
what is a good way to come up with a price list? Cause i am constantly asked what would it cost to get there yard cut. If I had a basic list it would make it more easier to answer there question! I am it the missiouri area!
You don't want a price list, but a MINIMUM price list.


Which is very very clever, I have done it.

This way, it allows you to deal with people better and smarter when it comes to offering discounts/ promotions.

You can't offer $5.00 off a $5.00 service, and with all your customers priced differently, similar situations have the potential to happen.

If all of your customers lawns started at (example) $100/month, you can easily figure out a percentage to knock off on a promotion.


I wish you the best of luck.


What I want to do in the future, when I get more volume.

I would like to have the price of my "additional" services vary during the time of year.

Example;
Gutter Clearing will be priced higher during the time of year when I am too busy with other projects. If someone hires me at that time, at least it will be worth it to me.


////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Write down a list of services you offer, get into detail.

Lawn Maintenance alone can break down into certain services;
Mowing, Trimming, Clean-up (blowing grass clippings back onto the lawn)

You can offer MOWING for less, but trimming/clean-up will cost more when put together with mowing.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynasty View Post
what is a good way to come up with a price list? Cause i am constantly asked what would it cost to get there yard cut. If I had a basic list it would make it more easier to answer there question! I am it the missiouri area!
I'll share my secret price sheet with you for a small fee.
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:02 AM
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Quote:
what is a good way to come up with a price list? Cause i am constantly asked what would it cost to get there yard cut. If I had a basic list it would make it more easier to answer there question! I am it the missiouri area!
This is a great question and I think Scott did a great job answering.

Ultimately, you really can't create a price list for a service where the variables change from lawn to lawn.

What you can do to make it easier on yourself is figure out how much you are charging per lawn per sqft.

Measure each of your lawns with a surveyor's wheel and figure out the sq.ft. of the property and then divide the price you are charging by the sq ftof the lawn.

ex. $30 / 1,000 sqft lawn = $.03

Now once you know that, as you get new customers, you should be about to take their sqft and multiply it by that figure you got $.03.

So if a new customer calls and you go over there to find the lawn is 1,500 sq ft. You can plug that into your equation.

ex. 1,500 sqft X $.03 = $45

If your price per sq ft is accurate, then you should be able to scale up or down pretty easily and still be charging an accurate amount based on what you need to charge and make a profit for.

As you experiment with this, you may find, you are making more money on smaller lawns than you are on larger lawns. The reason for this tends to be, you figure you got this great big lawn and you are making more money on it than a smaller lawn so you just guesstimate a higher figure but you are not pricing it properly based on the time it will take you.

Let me know if this helps and what you come up with.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
... ex. 1,500 sqft X $.03 = $45 ...
I don't like how a fixed scale like this works. using 3 cents per square foot means a 4 acre property, taking approximately 3 hours, would cost over $5200 for one cut. Over $1700 per hour.

Using my pricing schedule 4 acres costs about $240.

Last edited by mark123; 01-18-2011 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:29 AM
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Default I tired this last year, was a big headache

what I did was charge I think so much per 1,000 sq. feet then added a 15.00 per stop charge. Also it was stated that this was for minimal trimming. This gave them a basic price before you actually put a number on the bid.

I used this on Craigslist ads because of the tire kickers. Gave them a base price and made sure they were ok with that before I drove over for the sales pitch and actual estiamte. Just weeded out alot of the tire kickers first.

For example:
5000 sq. ft.
$1.50 per 1000 sq ft.= $7.50
Stop Charge $15.00
Total=$22.50
then usually added 3 to 5 extra for excess trimming.

Like I said I tried this as gimmie so people could have price in mind before driving all over for the tire kicking bids. But ended up being more of a hassle.

I think we are always trying to tweak our systems in one way or anther just trying to keep an edge on the competition. I am going to try a different pricing guide this year again to see how it works we will see.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:59 AM
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what I did was charge I think so much per 1,000 sq. feet then added a 15.00 per stop charge. ...
That seems to be the perfect balance. X per 1000 sq. ft. + stop charge. The stop charge give you your minimum. If you want $20 to be your minimum then make your stop charge $19 and round up. That way you can line up some small lawns of 800 sqft each and do 4 in an hour. $80 per hour!
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:32 PM
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Ummm... do people actually go out and measure their property to see how much it will cost them to hire you?
I can't see that happening when it's easier to just ask you "How much?"


People are like water - they take the path of least resistance.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:34 AM
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Quote:
I used this on Craigslist ads because of the tire kickers. Gave them a base price and made sure they were ok with that before I drove over for the sales pitch and actual estiamte. Just weeded out alot of the tire kickers first.
Did you ever run into any problems where you quoted one price but when you got to the location, you knew you had to charge more and that caused an issue with the customer?



Quote:
Like I said I tried this as gimmie so people could have price in mind before driving all over for the tire kicking bids. But ended up being more of a hassle.
Can you tell us more why this wound up being more of a hassle?


Also, I wonder, if you try to weed out 'tire kickers' and want to lower the amount of estimates you give, isn't that going to be counter productive? Every time you are being called to give a quote, doesn't that give you a stage to make your sales pitch and also point out other issues/services the customer might not have considered?
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:35 AM
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Default Craiglist Tire Kickers

Was usually not a problem with a phone quote because of 2 reasons, first google earth fins the address and scale it out gets you pretty close to the size of the yard and layout. It also lets you see potential problems if they are big enough.

It ended up being a hassle for several reasons, I would go to the customers house go to the door do the intros and listen to what the customers wants and needs then head out to the yard. Almost always the customer says well my lot is this size and when you roll it out it's always bigger. So right off the bat the customer is thinking you are padding the size. I tried to combat that by getting the customer to walk with me for 2 reasons I got him involved in writing the measurement down for me just so they could see I was not trying to pad the size and it gave me great time with customer to point out any problems and throw the sales pitch to them. So after it was more and more of hassle I started changing my ad and shying away from giving price per 1000 sq. ft.

I learned alot about the tire kickers around here and learned big lessons. Yes I am considering lowering some pricing but in certain instances which I may be rethinking again if fuel keeps going up....

But back to the tire kickers early in the season and being first full year of business I was excited eager and just chomping at the bit to work. Which this is all fine and dandy but you have to be smart which I learned. My biggest problem was not asking enough probative questions. After you talk to enough people you start to pick up on indicators that they are shopping around or tire kicking. Everyone that starts out makes mistakes and hopefully learns and uses that informaton to move forward and if we dont well the business does not stay long.
I am still thinking about lowering my prices for 2 locations that I work in, I have run the numbers over and over and think that I can make more doing this, only because it's all close together no winshield time at all and I can really rack up the accounts in a day.
I am just ready for the season to start again,Got all my ads done and ready to go in the papers and magazines, have my door hangers printed and ready, new shirts and hats hanging in the closet and one can only do so much cleaning and maint. on equipment.HAHA,,,,
But since it just dumped another 8" of snow it's back to plowing for now.
But hey I am not complaining money is money.
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